If you are planning on taking the Occupational English Test in the near future, you must have a lot of questions. It is more than important to get all the answers needed, before actually applying for the OET. In the following paragraphs, you will find valuable information regarding some of the most frequently asked questions. Go through the article and discover a wealth of details on this unique test, preparing yourself for a successful career in the healthcare sector.
OET – English or Medical English test?
When it comes to applying for the OET, many people are confused with regard to its purpose. Is it an English test? Or does it concentrate solely on medical English? Well, things are not always black or white, as there is a whole spectrum in-between those colors.
Working in the healthcare sector, no matter if you are a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, dentist or physiotherapist, you will have to interact with both patients and colleagues on a daily basis. For the communication with patients, you will have to use common English; on the other hand, for talking with your colleagues, medical terminology will be required.
The OET covers both aspects, testing your day-to-day English skills, as well as the medical English. The successful passing of the final examination will determine that you can communicate with patients and colleagues in a proficient manner. Of course, the better your level of English is, the higher your OET score will be.
OET vs. IELTS/TOEFL
As a future test taker, it is only normal to ask yourself about the difference between the OET and other English language tests, such as IELTS, TOEFL or PTE.
While all of these tests will examine the four essential language skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening – it is important to remember that OET is quite different. The OET has been designed to assess the English language skills of healthcare professionals, with a unique manner of testing and a scientific approach to the assessment process.
It is sufficient to check out the sample questions and you will see how OET differs from other English language tests. Moreover, given its one-of-a-kind structure and testing, you should expect it to have a higher difficulty rate (in comparison to the majority of the English language tests out there).
Healthcare professions covered under OET
The Occupational English Test has been specifically developed for twelve healthcare professions, with the relevant language skills being test for each of these professions.
These professions are:
|Occupational Therapy||Speech Pathology|
If you belong to any of the above-mentioned healthcare professions, you should definitely consider applying for the OET. Once your English language skills are certified, you can consider one of the great career opportunities in the medical sector, anywhere in the world.
OET sub-tests – are they the same for all professions?
Will a doctor take the same test as a nurse? And how about a physiotherapist – will he/she have the same testing experience with an occupational therapist? The answer to both questions is no.
Each Occupational English Test has four sub-tests, meaning Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. This structure remains the same, regardless of the profession for which you are taking the test.
All test takers, no matter their profession, will have the same Reading and Listening sub-tests on their exam. However, both Writing and Speaking sub-tests are different, in accordance to the profession for which you are examined.
Online application – possible and encouraged
OET is held in several countries across the world, and every candidate has book the exam through the same website. Online application is pretty easy but can take time if the process is not understood well. . Please read this article on how to apply online.
Abbreviations – allowed or not?
The usage of abbreviations is a matter of great concern for test takers, especially with regard to how it might affect their score. Well, abbreviations are allowed to be used in the Writing, Listening and Reading sub-tests. You are advised, however, to write what they stand for, in order to ensure the content will be understood.
For the Listening sub-test, abbreviations can be used, without having to worry about the impact on the overall score. However, when it comes to the Writing sub-test, you might want to steer away from using uncommon abbreviations. These can create difficulties for the assessors, resulting in a low-grade. It is for the best to pay attention to such matters when taking the Writing sub-test.
How much is the exam fee?
The examination fee for the OET is $587 AUD. However, candidates outside Australia will need to check the exchange rate applicable on the day.
How often is the test held?
OET test is held once a month only. This is usually on the second or the third Saturday of the month. You can check exam dates here.
The OET can be taken in approximately 40 countries, at one of the 110 locations, with test dates being available every month. The test is usually held at an exam center, English language school or reputed university, and you can check the available test dates and locations online.
It is important to know that, while test dates are available every month, the registration is only open for the next two test dates at a time. When you apply for the Occupational English Test, be sure to take this into consideration.
When can I expect my result?
The OET result will be published in your online profile, approximately 17 business days after each test day. You will also receive a statement of results by mail, 10 days after the online publication. The statement of results will present your grade, with A being the highest and E the lowest, for each of the four sub-tests.
Is re-marking request available?
Yes, you can make a request for re-marking. This is possible in the situation you believe your sub-test results are not accurate. The request for re-marking has to be made within 5 days from the date your results have been published in the online profile. You will have to complete the OET re-marking form and wait for the assessors to go over your tests.
If the re-marking results in a change of your grade, this will be published in your online profile as well (update). You will also receive a new statement of results, by mail. It is essential to be aware of the fact that there is a $120 fee for each re-marked sub-test, this amount being necessary to cover the administrative fees (including the hiring of the assessors).
Read our re-evaluation guide to find out the complete process.
A final note
If you still have questions about the OET, its structure or any of the sub-tests, you are recommended to check out the support page or contact the OET Helpdesk, taking advantage of the online contact form. You can also contact the OET Experts by phone or mail, the contact information being available on the website.